If there’s one thing the Covid pandemic has taught us all, it’s that the line between private and professional life has never been thinner. Although so many people have decided to quit and start so-called passion careers, many of us are stuck with corporate jobs. And you probably know what that means – endless meetings on Skype, Zoom and teleconferences every day, whatever the hour. Anna Rosak is an online marketing expert, who has helped build brands such as Lilibet Casino and has seen an increase in the number of video calls she receives each day.
“I can’t stress this enough, but there’s a certain etiquette to video calling, especially in a work environment. You might think it’s all casual because you’re at home, but keep in mind. mind that you’re still working. Love your cat all you want, but I hate it when everyone gets distracted and talks about the cat, rather than the business, just because it appeared on the screen,” says the expert. in marketing.
How to stop chat from ruining your Zoom meeting?
Rosak says the cat is just one example, it could be your mother, or even your Lego collection, neatly displayed behind you. In his opinion, any reasonable professional will ensure peace and quiet, both visually, sonically and personally.
“One of the easiest solutions is to lock yourself in a room and turn on a virtual background. This should prevent anyone from appearing on screen, as long as they are 2 or 3 feet away screen. If they get closer, they will become visible, but with a bit of luck, they will just close the door and come back later, “says the digital expert in the field of casinos.
Anna also tips anyone who doesn’t have a workspace in their apartment or house. During the pandemic, many of us had to work in kitchens, and there are still many people who do. Headphones are always a nice addition to the setup, but what if your grandma chooses to bring you cookies while you discuss next year’s plan.
“Well, make sure you’re as close to the screen as possible. As a participant, you should never feel relaxed enough to get up from the desk. As long as the camera zooms in on you, your colleagues will see very probably some disturbances in the virtual background, but not that it’s your grandmother coming to spoil you”, laughs Rosak.
Virtual backgrounds are also useful if you live in a crowded space, haven’t been able to do the dishes, or just don’t want your colleagues to see how you live and what your apartment looks like. Anna says it should be fine to apply a background to all meetings because it’s nobody’s business where you are, as long as you’re doing the work.
What if the chat ruined the meeting?
There were only about 2 million Zoom meetings that took place in July 2019. A year later, that number has grown to 42 billion. That’s billions of people encountering virtual meetings for the first time, who don’t have a dedicated place to attend a meeting, and who struggle to juggle home life and work duties. So we wanted to know how to behave if the cat jumped on the desk in front of us and became the main star of the show.
“If you speak, apologize, grab the cat and put it in another room, behind closed doors. Then apologize again and move on. If you don’t talk, just grab the cat and get rid of it as soon as possible, with a short excuse. Don’t try to make it a joke or a fun little event. It’s not. You’re wasting their time, so be aware of that,” Rosak says.
She also adds that after the meeting is over, you can use a light-hearted tone to address the incident, but don’t get too comfortable talking about your pet. Or your grandmother.
How to choose the virtual background for your Zoom meeting?
Our expert also shared a tip on how to choose the right background. In his opinion, keep the sandy beaches and the Simpsons couch for get-togethers with family and friends, and opt for more neutral backgrounds.
“In my opinion, a plain background always works great. Maybe white or beige? Avoid neon lights and bright colors, or add a jungle, Marvel superheroes or whatever. Save that for later. If you’re not sure, just think if this is something you would encounter in a real business. White brick wall with a fig tree in the corner? Dark. Disco ball ? Unlikely”, she is honest.